Author Topic: First-time learning curves?  (Read 4440 times)

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Offline Folds McBucket

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First-time learning curves?
« on: Thu, 18 August 2016, 14:14:03 »
Good day :)

Never owned a mechkeyb, but I hope to change that soon. I've lurked a few topics on this board discussing ergonomic keyboard layouts. This inspired me to get back in the K-L-E and do some planning of my own. Take a look, please:
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/gists/530ac29286f2ee2a4b0a092f424c6e92

This keyboard started out looking like the hacker-branded 60%s that are popular first mechkeybs, but I got frustrated with the uncommon keycap sizes I would have needed to make it work. Then, it became an ortholinear where no keycap would have been anything but 1u or 2u.
Not sure what happened next, but something convinced me to go for an ergo layout. Came to Geekhack and combed the boards to see what other people like.

What I'm concerned about is putting together a keyb I can't learn to use. I've been on consumer QWERTY membrane keyboards for my whole life, so I'm afraid, but only a little bit.
I've used a Dvorak phone keyboard for around two years, but that's all. How many hours of practice do you think I will need to spend to get comfortable with the thing?

I'm quite a n00b, any help is welcome <3
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Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 19 August 2016, 03:33:25 »
If you do not aim for stellar typing speed then about two hours a day for a week or two should be enough to learn a new layout. Later on, if you can go on and learn on the fly in work too then you will be quicker. I was transferring from standard querty to kinesis querty and it took only few days but your layout is completely different.

The staggering for the pinkie columns looks small. It should be at least 0.5*u for a flat keyboard. I use 0.5u on a contoured keyboard so you may consider to stagger by about 0.7*u or even more. I would recommend to print the layout with a bit more stagger on pinkie columns and try it out whether it does not look better.

Offline Folds McBucket

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 19 August 2016, 15:45:16 »
That chassis looks excellent.  :eek:

I'm glad you suggested staggering more. It has me wondering about my intended arm positioning. The flat ergodoxes I was referencing for design suddenly seem a lot less comfortable.
Your (Kinesis|Maltron)-shaped keyboard makes me want to hold off on this build until I can hire a 3D printer. Looks like I'll be coming back to that Deskthority thread many times in the future. :thumb:
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 21 August 2016, 17:11:55 »
The contour of the keyboard is not a bottleneck to ergonomics.


The only true problem that needs to be solved is wrist angle..


The scoop is actually only suitable for Lower wrist angle which is in itself suboptimal.




Given the thickness necessary for any given keyboard the maximum practically achievable wrist angle is roughly 55 degrees of tenting using most mechanical switches..  This is the limitation due to the thickness of the switches.


Otherwise,  if we had a scissor style keyboard,  it can achieve much closer to an operational angle of ~ 70-75 degrees..

the natural angle of the wrist is actually INVERSE, but it's not very easy to create inverse keyboards.. or use one, because it tends to make one want to lift their shoulders.. hard to learn..

Offline Folds McBucket

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 21 August 2016, 23:35:20 »
the natural angle of the wrist is actually INVERSE, but it's not very easy to create inverse keyboards.. or use one, because it tends to make one want to lift their shoulders.. hard to learn..

Do you have links to any diagrams explaining this? I had read quite a few complaints about Ergodox-style keyboards not accomplishing their ergonomic duties, even with tenting. Is it a matter of desk-wrist-keyboard height? Or just not enough tenting?
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Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 23 August 2016, 06:49:54 »
the natural angle of the wrist is actually INVERSE, but it's not very easy to create inverse keyboards.. or use one, because it tends to make one want to lift their shoulders.. hard to learn..

Do you have links to any diagrams explaining this? I had read quite a few complaints about Ergodox-style keyboards not accomplishing their ergonomic duties, even with tenting. Is it a matter of desk-wrist-keyboard height? Or just not enough tenting?



Ergodox requires alot more tenting than users often attempt..


And you are correct that it also greatly depends on typing surface height..

If the surface is higher, as in your elbows are closer to your shoulders,  the tenting needs to be reduced because as the elbow rotates outwards, and is raised, the forearm automatically rotates Inwards.


If the elbows are lowered, with the upper arm completely rested at the side of your body, then the angle of the wrist resting on the table (@ that particular height) is roughly 70*..  but the Neutral angle is inverted, roughly 140 degrees from the center


On my standing desk, My ergodox is tented 55* using 2x 100mm bolts.

So that's ~180mm off the table in the middle.  Most people wouldn't even consider going this far.

There's a table size mouse mat on the table, so the ergodox stays in place because the side edges dig lightly into the mat against lateral movement..


You don't need a diagram to determine the angle you want at your typing height...  Move your elbow to the height and angle you type at, then Just squeeze your forearm, feel where the bones are..  Notice that the Radius-Bone moves Over and crosses the Ulna-Bone as you rotate your wrist..

When the two bones are parallel,  That is the neutral position..  You want to move towards this position as much as possible,

The limitation is the fact that you can't really cross 55* without modifying both x and y axis tenting..

55* is the maximum with only x axis modification..

if you want more than 55*, you'd need to rotate y axis towards you as well.


And if you want to go all the way to 140 neutral position..  You'd need a weighted keyboard that's built inverted.. ONTOP of relearning alot of muscle control to dampen shoulder and trap muscles which would naturally want to raise your arms


Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 05:02:19 »
The scoop is actually only suitable for Lower wrist angle which is in itself suboptimal.
I disagree. The contoured keywell is always better because the keys are nearer to your fingers. You can argue that contouring is not worth the increased price which would be a fair point.

I agree that tilting the keyboard is a good idea. The best angle depends mostly on how far the elbows are from the body.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 05:06:40 »
The scoop is actually only suitable for Lower wrist angle which is in itself suboptimal.
I disagree. The contoured keywell is always better because the keys are nearer to your fingers. You can argue that contouring is not worth the increased price which would be a fair point.

I agree that tilting the keyboard is a good idea. The best angle depends mostly on how far the elbows are from the body.


No, the coutour wall is a hindrance.

When you are operating at the most ergonomic height to reach the most neutral wrist angle possible on your setup, your wrists are not resting on any surface..

It is faster to make a slight movement of the upper arm to reach the lower keys than it is to curl the finger inwards..


The contour shape works for a shallow tent angle, AND ONLY when the wrist is resting.

-------However ^^^ that entire premise is suboptimal to the the correct height with the wrist floating at an angle much closer to Neutral..




There is a hierarchy of optimizations..

WRIST angle

Typing Surface height

Contour

Layout



The reason for this hierarchy is because, the upper arm is a VERY long LEVER..  It doesn't take very much, be it force or total movement to alter placement of the hand..

Which means, any and all optimizations of contour and Layout is easily unbound when the right typing height is in effect.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 05:24:28 »
Explained another way..

The contour wall attempts to MINIMIZE necessary hand motion, by closing the distance of the lower keys..

Several things are wrong with this premise..

1.

The lower keys are seldom used, therefore their contribution to developing RSI is negligible
--So any optimization here which would compromise other more important optimizations would be wasteful..

2.

The Contour bowl is an optimization under the assumption that the wrist's pivot point is mostly stationary..
--This is bad because if the wrist is stationary that means the upper arm is not engaged when typing..
-- if the upper arm is not engaged, that means all lateral and medial movements of the hand is handled by the sideways turn of the wrist..   the wrist has very limited range in this respect, and it is one of the motions that pianists try to minimize, because it easily causes strain as the arch of the keystrike is broken when the wrist turns..

3.

When you try to minimize movement by NOT hovering the wrist.. the weight of the forearm can not be used to depress the keys, instead you must rely on a tighter contraction of the wrist in order to maintain the pressure necessary.
___ and we know that overuse of a tight wrist is the MAIN contributor Carpel Tunnel..



So.. as you see,  while the contour IS an Optimization, it is optimizing for a condition that is itself conducive to increasing RSI..

THEREFORE..  it is a Hindrance.

Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 06:25:06 »
I see your arguments are wrong or weak at best :)

add 1) No. The point is that tilting the lower row does not hindrance anything except the keyboard price. And I acknowledged that the price is higher an possibly not worth it.

add 2) No. You do not need to twist wrists when typing on contoured keyboard. You can move your hand too. The only difference is that you do not need to move it that much. This helps typing speed (if you care about it).

add 3) No. The force on fingers and wrist comes from the key press, i.e. from the fingertip. It is not like the force can be magically transferred to your forearm without going through the fingers and wrist first. The only way how you could minimize the force transfer through the joints would be to use the kinetic energy of the fingers (when the finger decelerates while hitting the key). It is so because only the fingertips press the key (not your forearm). You could use finger kinetic energy for pressing by "waving" your whole forearm to type each key (accelerating fingers by not moving fingers but moving whole forearm). But I doubt any typist uses such a technique because it is slow. Typist do not move forearms in the direction perpendicular to keyboard. Or if they do it is only negligible compared to the movement in the plane parallel to the keyboard plane.

As I see it, the curved keyboard could contribute to RSI only if you believe that bigger hand movement in the plane of the keyboard prevents RSI. Or that bigger finger stretching prevents RSI. I have my doubts about that but maybe you have some research to show :)


Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 15:59:53 »
I do not know. I do not care about speed. I guess, just a guess, it is about 45 wpm. Speed of typing does not limit me in my job.

No, I do not want to learn stenography. That is one kind of typing where moving whole forearm in the direction perpendicular to keyboard may make sense since a lot of keys is pressed at once. But one should also notice that (group) presses have smaller frequency in stenography than the individual key presses in normal typing. So whole forearm does not need to move so quickly in stenography.

I did not ever see a quick typist (not a stenographer) which would move whole forearm in the direction perpendicular to the keyboard. Though I have seen a lot of them which move their palm in this way while having wrists resting on the palm rests ... while typing. But in their case it seemed to be related more to the fact that they used standard keyboard and needed the movement to actually reach the key. They would not need that up/down movement at all (or only very little) if they used a contoured keyboard (and still opted to use wrist rests). But I doubt you want to advocate for using wrist rests or palm movement coming from wrist joint in the direction perpendicular to the keyboard plane.

My point is one just cannot "vibrate" whole forearm as quickly as fingers only because fingers have smaller mass and because the movement is interleaved between 10 fingers (instead of only 2 arms). Or maybe you can but it will cost you much, much more energy. That is a simple physics.

Offline davkol

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 16:05:54 »
This has probably a lot to do with piano practice.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 16:36:56 »
Clearly I'm arguing with the wrong person.. hahahaha

vvp.. I am not trying to be condescending, but you have a long way to go before you'd meet against the optimizations i'm talking about..

Almost everyone can get to 70wpm with a week of any sort of practice, without consideration to technique placement, etc.

At around 90wpm, wrist angle will be the biggest problem, because reduced angle will limit the amount you can practice..

-__-- this is where some people begin to turn their wrist slightly to compensate if they're using a flat keyboard.

at around 120wpm, you'd realize that the bowl is ridiculous..

_-- -- because moving the upperarm as a lever is the fastest way to get around the keyboard, and a contoured bowl only gets in the way because it limits diagonal movements.
---- another major problem with the bowl is that it's essentially multi height.. which means an additional level of control is necessary to compensate between moving up and down rows.. whereas on a flat diagonal surface, you only need to consider 1 plane of movement.

at around 135wpm,  you'd realize that the Layout and contour is not really a hindrance to speed at all.  It's ALL in technique angles, and visual parsing of transcript words.


Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 24 August 2016, 16:37:48 »
This has probably a lot to do with piano practice.

I've ported alot of my techniques over from piano..



Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 03:32:29 »
_-- -- because moving the upperarm as a lever is the fastest way to get around the keyboard, and a contoured bowl only gets in the way because it limits diagonal movements.
The point is that with a contoured keyboard you do not need to move the upper arm and still comfortably reach the keys. Or do you want to advocate that we should type quickly by moving upper arm and not moving fingers? I have not ever seen any body type like that. On a contoured keyboard it is enough to move only the fingers (not even the palm needs movement). A contoured keyboard is not a piano.

---- another major problem with the bowl is that it's essentially multi height.. which means an additional level of control is necessary to compensate between moving up and down rows.. whereas on a flat diagonal surface, you only need to consider 1 plane of movement.
No need to move upper arm up and down the rows. You can reach the keys without it. The required level of control is smaller on a contoured keyboard because movements are simpler (only fingers need to move).

You are still advocating moving upper arm which is not necessary with a contoured keyboard. And I already explained to you why moving whole upper arm must be slower than moving only the fingers. You have 10 fingers which can interleave and only 2 upper arms.

One can move upper arms on a contoured keyboard too if he/she thinks it is better for ergonomics. It is just not necessary. And I believe moving upper arms around is slower. You obviously believe believe moving upper arms is quicker because of "lever". Kind of ignoring that upper arm is much heavier than fingers and also there is less of them than fingers. Without presenting some research about this we can only agree that we disagree with each other :cool:

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 04:56:54 »
_-- -- because moving the upperarm as a lever is the fastest way to get around the keyboard, and a contoured bowl only gets in the way because it limits diagonal movements.
The point is that with a contoured keyboard you do not need to move the upper arm and still comfortably reach the keys. Or do you want to advocate that we should type quickly by moving upper arm and not moving fingers? I have not ever seen any body type like that. On a contoured keyboard it is enough to move only the fingers (not even the palm needs movement). A contoured keyboard is not a piano.

---- another major problem with the bowl is that it's essentially multi height.. which means an additional level of control is necessary to compensate between moving up and down rows.. whereas on a flat diagonal surface, you only need to consider 1 plane of movement.
No need to move upper arm up and down the rows. You can reach the keys without it. The required level of control is smaller on a contoured keyboard because movements are simpler (only fingers need to move).

You are still advocating moving upper arm which is not necessary with a contoured keyboard. And I already explained to you why moving whole upper arm must be slower than moving only the fingers. You have 10 fingers which can interleave and only 2 upper arms.

One can move upper arms on a contoured keyboard too if he/she thinks it is better for ergonomics. It is just not necessary. And I believe moving upper arms around is slower. You obviously believe believe moving upper arms is quicker because of "lever". Kind of ignoring that upper arm is much heavier than fingers and also there is less of them than fingers. Without presenting some research about this we can only agree that we disagree with each other :cool:



No one is holding you a gun to your head to move your upper arm..

But in almost ALL activities that require coordinated hand motion, Experts recommend Upper arm motion..

The upper arm is far less likely to tire out than wrist and forearm muscles..

The actual movement is minuscule, yet the change in position is Huge and Fast due to the length of the lever.


Piano, first thing they tell you,  Move your upper arm. Keep your wrist as stationary as possible, do not break that arc.

Pro gaming, Mouse hand, MOVE your Upper arm, reduce fatigue, pwn newbs..


And as the Resident Typing speed analyst, Tp4 is telling you Move your Upper arm..



Everything you know about typing is too rudimentary..


The Bowl is a hindrance and built upon Faulty premises..   At best we can call it a gimmick to sell funny looking keyboards..

Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 05:28:41 »
On a flat keyboard you sometimes need to move either upper arm or the palm at least to reach the far keys.

Otherwise nice speech, and no research links comparing contoured/flat typing speed. Without the research the claim that bowl being worse is just an opinion. My opinion is different.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 05:43:10 »
On a flat keyboard you sometimes need to move either upper arm or the palm at least to reach the far keys.

Otherwise nice speech, and no research links comparing contoured/flat typing speed. Without the research the claim that bowl being worse is just an opinion. My opinion is different.


My opinion is tested at sustained average 135wpm .

Your opinion is tested at 45-70wpm burst..



Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 07:29:58 »
Two random data points do not make even a statistics, not to mention a study.

You claim that something which requires to overcome a bigger distance to reach a given keycap needs less time than something which requires to overcome less distance to reach the same keycap. It is like claiming that traveling from USA to Brasilia takes less time than traveling from USA to Panama because Brasilia is more far away than Panama. You better have some very good proof about that. Two random data points will not do it.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 08:11:45 »
Two random data points do not make even a statistics, not to mention a study.

You claim that something which requires to overcome a bigger distance to reach a given keycap needs less time than something which requires to overcome less distance to reach the same keycap. It is like claiming that traveling from USA to Brasilia takes less time than traveling from USA to Panama because Brasilia is more far away than Panama. You better have some very good proof about that. Two random data points will not do it.

No That is not my claim.


My claim is, this distance covered or time taken is insignificant relative to what is ultimately the bottleneck to speed.

So, that optimization of the bowl does next to nothing to improve speed or efficiency.


The bowl does however hinder diagonal movement because as you're trying to cover the board, you now have to lift the hand slightly from the keyboard if you're on the asdf plane to go else where.

Offline vvp

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 08:49:26 »
There is almost no need for hand movement, nor diagonal, nor lifting on a contoured keyboard. At least not on mine contoured keyboard with my hand. Only 10 keys from 80 require a slight palm or hand move to be comfortably reachable. One can just decide not to use the 10 keys.  Kinesis Advantage is a bit worse than my keyboard. The top pinkie keys require slight palm or hand move too.

There is no need to move hand higher when reaching the rows above the home row. The same is true for the rows below the home row. You must have some bad habits from piano if you think these are needed :)

Offline davkol

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 10:58:43 »
Maltron-like contour actually does several things:
  • Distance between rows is reduced.
  • Column height reflects finger length.
  • Thumb keys are on a different plane.
  • The keyboard is trickier to make and less portable.
I dare say only the first point (about distance between rows) is controversial. (Aside from the last point about practicality and technical concerns; that's a trade-off.) If there were only three rows in the key wells, it wouldn't be a big deal. It actually think, that it isn't a big deal anyway, assuming the other rows are relatively rarely used.

Why is it controversial? Fingers strike with optimal use of force only at a certain angle, and that angle is somewhere around 90 degrees, i.e., nowhere near 0 or 180 degrees. That's covered in studies of pianists… or closer to computer keyboards, it's essentially the reason, why Dvorak et al. discouraged the use of typewriter bottom row and favored the home row.

Again, I believe the suboptimality is rather negligible in the end, unless you're like kbdfr with the battleship keyboards.

Offline tp4tissue

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Re: First-time learning curves?
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 25 August 2016, 11:04:01 »
There is almost no need for hand movement, nor diagonal, nor lifting on a contoured keyboard. At least not on mine contoured keyboard with my hand. Only 10 keys from 80 require a slight palm or hand move to be comfortably reachable. One can just decide not to use the 10 keys.  Kinesis Advantage is a bit worse than my keyboard. The top pinkie keys require slight palm or hand move too.

There is no need to move hand higher when reaching the rows above the home row. The same is true for the rows below the home row. You must have some bad habits from piano if you think these are needed :)

If your hand does not move, You're typing wrong.